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Author Topic: Inexpensive mic option  (Read 4526 times)
ubizmo
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« on: July 01, 2009, 05:21:31 pm »

I've mentioned before that pretty good results can be had with fairly inexpensive headset mics.  I happened to see this video today, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS9Ra5M1XAg, and although I can't tell exactly what headset he's using, the sound isn't bad.  There's a little distortion, but that can be overcome by pointing the mic stalk up toward the ceiling a bit more, and turning the recording level down a touch.  Acoustically, recording the tin whistle is similar to ocarina, in that the high notes tend to overload many webcam or similar dynamic mics.

Ubizmo


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ubizmo
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 01:38:58 pm »

I just bought an inexpensive Plantronics headset microphone at Staples.  It was $25.  Here is a sound sample, with the mic boom pointed up 60 degrees, and the gain switch set to "high." http://www.mediafire.com/?0hndnyoiimm.  There's no reverb or any other modification to the sound.  I think it's pretty good.

I have a much better microphone, but it requires a mic stand and mixer, and current arrangements in my house make it just about impossible for me to use it.  I'm hoping that will change at some point.  In the meantime, this should work just fine.  I was also sometimes using a similar back-of-the-head mic from Altec Lansing, which was also good.  But I hate the way those things tend to slide off my ears.  Also, one of the ear speakers was broken.  So I replaced it with this Plantronics cheapie.

I think these headset mics work better than some of the more expensive condenser mics.  My guess is that this is because they are designed to pick up the sound near the mic, but not from farther away.  What I have learned, the hard way, is that when recording indoors, the biggest problem is sound reflected from walls, causing overload in certain frequencies--uneven and unwanted reverb.  Because that reflected sound is fairly weak, the headset mic seems not to pick it up, and the result is a much cleaner sound.  In contrast, when I use the portable digital recorder, with built-in condenser mics, I get a lot of overload, because those mics pick up everything in the room; they are exquisitely sensitive.  On the other hand, the portable recorder is terrific outdoors, where there are no walls to reflect the sound back and cause overload.

By pointing the headset mic boom way up, I manage not to record most of my breathing noise.  That's a plus.

Ubizmo


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Amiable
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2009, 08:10:28 pm »

Ubi, do you know if the Platonics works on a Macbook?  I was using the Altec Lansing, but it doesn't work with my new MB - apparently new computers have a different audio port, but no one at the shops can tell me whether the headsets are compatible with it or not.

(The built in mic decidedly doens't work for me.)


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ubizmo
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 12:02:53 am »

Ubi, do you know if the Platonics works on a Macbook?  I was using the Altec Lansing, but it doesn't work with my new MB - apparently new computers have a different audio port, but no one at the shops can tell me whether the headsets are compatible with it or not.

(The built in mic decidedly doens't work for me.)

I don't know.  I'd have thought the Altec Lansing, or any standard 3.5mm analog set, would work fine on any machine that has a 3.5mm port, but I don't have a Macbook to test it on.

Ubizmo


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